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Director of WeWork documentary: The company was a good idea but 'greed won out'

Jed Rothstein, director of the new Hulu documentary "WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn," said that workspace sharing company WeWork began as a good idea, but "greed won out" in the end, leading to the major financial distress the company has experienced.

Appearing on Hill.TV's "Rising," Rothstein said that despite the major setbacks the company experienced in 2019 — which included laying off thousands of employees, CEO Adam Neumann stepping down amid controversy and having to postpone their IPO — the company was inherently a "good idea."

"At the core of it, it is a good idea. I mean it addressed a real need; a real change in the way that we work; a real change in the way that people who are from a generation that experienced more atomization and isolation in the workplace want to define these communities instead of just moving around from job to job to job," Rothstein said.

When asked how he felt the WeWork saga reflected on the U.S. economic system, Rothstein opined that it exemplified the capitalist attitude that "only greed is good," despite the company's best efforts to show otherwise.

"I think what's interesting about the WeWork story is for a while that wasn't true. They sort of had this ethos that things can be better and things could be different and we can sort of help one another within the context of market capitalism," Rothstein said. "And then in the end, I think, greed won out, but ... hopefully it gets us to reflect on, on the nature of capitalism and hopefully we move forward and you know do better."